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Summer is just around the corner and are you planning a roadtrip to New Zealand? New Zealand is one of the stunning summer destinations with immense landscapes and experiences. I would like to include all the tips for your roadtrip ahead and hope these suggestions would help you out.
Plan Ahead :
Newzealand is a tourist destination with its economy predominently based on tourism. Flights , hotels and cars can get cheaper if you book them well in advance. You can also look for various companies offering good deals. Planning the itinerary ahead can cut down unwanted expenses and also saves a lot of time during the roadtrip. If you are backpacking look for hostels as they are much cheaper than the regular hotels. When renting a car look for the cars around your budget.
Follow traffic rules while driving :
The New Zealand’s traffic rules are pretty firm and any deviation can lead to huge fines. Drive slow, follow rules and it should not be a problem. We follow the right hand drive in our home country and driving was quite comfortable. But if you are a citizen of a country with left hand drive I suggest that you should get used to the right hand wheel drive especially on New Zealand’s dramatic highways.
Speed Limits :
You should be aware of the speed limits of New Zealand. On highways the speeding limit is 100kms/hr and in towns it is restricted to a limit of 50km/hr. Yes, the limit is low but it is apt for New Zealand roads and climate. I advice you to follow the local road rules while driving in New Zealand.
Always rent a GPS along with the car. You might have it in your phone but renting an inbuilt GPS helps even during the times when your phone looses connection (Also the roaming internet charges are quite high). You get it on a daily rental basis along with the car. It costs less than NZ$ 50 per day.
What to wear ?
We have been on a summer roadtrip. But the temperature got quite low in the South Island. Don’t forget to carry your jackets even in summer. Shoes are a must. Since you are driving most of the times I suggest comfortable clothing. New Zealand’s rays are quite harsh so I suggest you to carry your eyewear.
When to drive ?
Driving in New Zealand can turn out to be an experience and an adventure altogether. The best way to experience New Zealand is driving through the scenic belts. In summer the days are bright and easy to drive. But I don’t suggest night drives in New Zealand. Limited street lights in the coastlines, sometimes no road dividers and also narrow roads can make the drives really risky. But day drives are really worth experiencing in a lifetime.
What to carry?
Before you begin your drives stock up on the most easy to eat snacks and drinks for your long trip. Buying in a mart is cheaper than any of the restaurants.
Do stock up your toiletries too.
New Zealand’s panaromic views are something to die for. So never forget your camera.
Sunscreen with spf 50 or more is a must as sunrays are pretty harsh.
GPS timing should not be considered :
This is something which is more unique to every traveller. If you dont experience any congestion and you don’t stop anywhere for pictures /food/ fuel then you can consider GPS. We preferred being one or two hours ahead to GPS time as it would be a safer option if you want to reach a destination on time or when you are heading to catch a ferry/flight.
Free Wi-fi , Parking and breakfast :
New Zealand is an expensive destination. Wi-fi is chargeable in most of the hotels. I suggest you to book hotels which offer Wi-Fi and car parking at no additional costs. The parking charges per day are extremely high so I suggest you to carefully choose before making your booking.
Also search for hotels which offer free breakfast. It will help you to fuel up for the rest of the day. Free Wi-Fi , parking and breakfast could save you a lot.
Hope you find this post useful. Do share your views on this.
Want to know about New Zealand? Refer to the links below :
Majestic New Zealand : Unforgettable Road trip in the farflung Island Country – (Part 1) North island.
Majestic New Zealand : Unforgettable Road trip in the farflung Island country – part 2 South Island.